Jesus Christ: More than a Prophet:
The feast of the Transfiguration, celebrated in early August, commemorates the time that Our Lord took with Him three Apostles “and went up on the mountain to pray. And as He was praying His countenance was altered and His raiment became dazzling white.” (Luke 9:28-29) Moses, the giver of the Law, and Elijah, Father of Carmel and the greatest of Prophets, appeared in glory and spoke with Him.
In harmony with the Tradition of the Church, the spiritual sons of Elijah, the Carmelites, have seen Our Lord as the fulfillment of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) in this biblical narrative. Jesus Christ’s transfiguration manifests His Divine Sonship, that He is the Word of God come in the flesh: “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” (Mark 9:7) He is not just one prophet among others, not even only the greatest of prophets. Rather, He is the Savior toward Whom the prophets pointed and for Whom they longed. (cf. 1 Peter 1:10-12)
A legend developed among early Carmelites that at the Transfiguration, Our Lord made this promise to Elijah: his Order (of Carmel) would endure until the end of time. The story beautifully illustrates how all prophets necessarily bend the knee to Christ, and how He, in His munificence, honors His servants. Carmelites to this day follow in the footsteps of Elijah as their spiritual Father, but they surrender their entire lives to Jesus Christ as their Lord and God. They choose, through the promise of obedience, to lay down their lives for this same Jesus Who so loved them that He laid down His life for the salvation of their souls.